Tuesday, June 28, 2016

 

Brazil educates public on terror dangers

The Brazilian government is distributing leaflets and posters throughout Rio de Janeiro, especially at tourist sites like hotels and bars,in a bid to educate ordinary Brazilians.

Brazil's security forces unveiled a terrorism awareness campaign Tuesday one month ahead of the Rio Olympics in a bid to educate ordinary Brazilians over a novel threat to the Latin American country.

Although subject to rampant violent crime, Brazil has no history of jihadist attacks and is not involved in any of the many conflicts featuring Islamic extremists around the world. However with Rio staging South America's first Olympic Games from August 5-21, there are worries that the country's inexperience could make it vulnerable.

"As our country does not have a tradition of this kind of threat, we need people to be more aware," General Luiz Felipe Linhares, spokesman for the defense ministry on major events, said in a statement.

"The message we want to pass on is: if you are suspicious and find a suspicious situation, then it's de facto suspicious," he said.

The government is distributing leaflets and posters through the city, especially at tourist sites like hotels and bars, with simple pointers to potential signs of danger.

These include people "acting strangely and showing intense nerves," people pretending to be officials but unable to show proper accreditation, the presence of drones in crowded areas, unattended baggage, and "strong smells and strange substances."

"If you think something is suspicious, that's because it's suspicious!" the campaign's slogan goes.

The material also shows a photograph of a woman in a traditional black and white maid's costume with a feather duster apparently discovering a cache of passports, cellphones and a detailed map in a hotel room.

Anyone with worries is encouraged to phone the emergency services numbers, such as the police on 190.

The authorities say they expect some 700,000 tourists from 209 countries to pour into Rio. There will also be about 100 heads of state and more than 12,000 athletes.

Rio, like most of Brazil, suffers serious gun crime and 85,000 police and soldiers will be deployed to keep a lid on trouble during the Games. That's twice as many security forces as during the 2012 London Olympics.

A budget crisis means that police are not being paid on time and officers demonstrating at a rally on Monday told AFP that police stations lack everything from fuel for squad cars to toilet paper.

The Brazilian government is distributing leaflets and posters throughout Rio de Janeiro, especially at tourist sites like hotels and bars,in a bid to educate ordinary Brazilians.
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